EQUITY, ANTI-DISCRIMINATION AND WORKPLACE HARASSMENT POLICY AND PROCEDURE
Purpose and Scope
The purpose of this policy and procedure is to demonstrate Aquamarine Personalised Home Care’s commitment to equal opportunity and a workplace free from harassment and discrimination.
It applies to all Aquamarine Personalised Home Care employees, contractors and volunteers and meets relevant legislation, regulations and Standards as set out in Schedule 1, Legislative References.
Applicable NDIS Practice Standards Human Resource Management Outcome
Each participant’s support needs are met by workers who are competent in relation to their role, hold relevant qualifications, and who have relevant expertise and experience to provide person- centred support.
Equity – treating all persons fairly and without discrimination.
Discrimination – treating a person less favourably than others in similar circumstances because
of a personal attribute that has no relevance to the situation.
Age discrimination - Discrimination based on age (regardless of age) or based on age- specific characteristics or characteristics generally associated with a person of a particular age.
Disability discrimination - Discrimination based on physical, intellectual, psychiatric, sensory, neurological, or learning disability, physical disfigurement, disorder, illness, or disease that affects thought processes, perception of reality, emotions or judgement, or results in disturbed behaviour, and presence in body of organisms causing or capable of causing disease or illness (e.g., HIV virus).
Racial discrimination - Discrimination based on race, colour, descent or national or ethnic origin and in some circumstances, immigrant status.
Sex discrimination – Discrimination based on sex, marital or relationship status, pregnancy or potential pregnancy, breastfeeding, family responsibilities, sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status.
Sexual harassment - any form of unwanted, unwelcome, or uninvited sexual behaviour that is offensive, humiliating or embarrassing.
Workplace harassment - repeated behaviour, other than behaviour amounting to sexual harassment, of one employees or group of employees that is unwelcome, unsolicited, and considered to be offensive, intimidating, humiliating, or threatening by another employees.
Aquamarine Personalised Home Care strives to provide a positive working environment in which all employees are valued and encouraged to contribute. As an equal opportunity employer, Aquamarine Personalised Home Care is bound by all relevant State and Federal legislation in relation to equal employment opportunity (EEO). This legislation ensures that no employees will be discriminated against unfairly or unlawfully.
Aquamarine Personalised Home Care employees are expected to comply with equity and anti- discrimination legislation, Aquamarine Personalised Home Care’s Employee Code of Conduct and this policy and procedure.
The policy prohibits unlawful harassment by any employee of Aquamarine Personalised Home Care, including supervisors and managers, as well as vendors, customers, independent contractors, suppliers, and any other persons.
Any form of harassment which violates Australian Federal or state law, including, but not limited to harassment related to an individual's race, colour, national origin, ancestry, sex, gender, religion, creed, age, mental or physical disability, veteran status, medical condition (including pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions), marital status, registered domestic partner status, citizenship, sexual orientation, gender orientation, gender identification or genetic characteristics is a violation of this policy and will be treated as a disciplinary matter.
It also prohibits unlawful harassment based on the perception that anyone has any of those characteristics, or is associated with a person who has or is perceived as having any of those characteristics.
Actions, words, jokes, or comments based on an individual's sex, colour, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual identity/orientation, gender identity/ orientation, or any other legally protected characteristics will not be tolerated.
This applies to all employment practices, including recruitment, hiring, compensation, leaves of absence, recall, and lay off, placement, Company benefits, promotions, demotions, transfers, training, disciplinary action, and termination.
Aquamarine Personalised Home Care’s work practices and processes are continuously reviewed to ensure they comply with EEO requirements. These work practices include:
- recruitment and selection,
- pay and benefits,
- training and development,
- performance appraisals/reviews,
- grievance procedures, and
Aquamarine Personalised Home Care employees must neither be discriminated against, nor discriminate or treat unfairly or unlawfully another employee or community member on the following grounds:
- race, colour, nationality, or ethnic origin,
- marital or parental status,
- political belief or activity,
- trade union activity,
- lawful sexual activity, or
- association with or relation to a person with any of the above attributes.
Employees must not be subject to or engage in unlawful harassment or discrimination against another employee or community member. Forms of harassment include:
- sexual harassment,
- homosexual and transgender vilification,
- HIV/AIDS vilification, and
- racial vilification.Sexual harassment is defined as unwanted sexual advances, or visual, verbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature. This definition includes many forms of offensive behaviour and includes gender-based harassment of a person of the same sex as the harasser.
The following is a partial list of sexual harassment examples:
- Unwanted sexual advances
- Offering employment benefits in exchange for sexual favours
- Making or threatening reprisals after a negative response to sexual advances
- Visual conduct that includes leering, making sexual gestures, or the display of sexually suggestive objects, pictures, cartoons or posters
- Verbal conduct that includes making or using derogatory comments, epithets, slurs, or jokes
- Verbal sexual advances or propositions
- Verbal abuse of a sexual nature, graphic verbal commentaries about an individual's body, sexually degrading words used to describe an individual, or suggestive or obscene letters, notes, or invitations
- Physical conduct that includes touching, assaulting, or impeding or movements
Unwelcome sexual advances (either verbal or physical), requests for sexual favours, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when:
- submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment;
- submission or rejection of the conduct is used as a basis for making employment decisions; or,
- the conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.
Any employee who becomes aware of possible sexual or other unlawful harassment must immediately advise a member of Management so it can be investigated in a timely and confidential manner. Anyone engaging in sexual or other unlawful harassment will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment, in accordance with Aquamarine Personalised Home Care’s Human Resources Policy and Procedure.
All allegations of sexual harassment will be quickly and discreetly investigated. To the extent possible, your confidentiality and that of any witnesses and the alleged harasser will be protected against unnecessary disclosure. When the investigation is completed, you will be informed of the outcome of the investigation.
When writing internal or external documents, employees must ensure that non-sexist and non- racist language is used by:
- avoiding male-dominated terms (e.g., use ‘chair’ or ‘chairperson’ instead of ‘chairman’),
- eliminating the unnecessary use of the person’s gender (e.g., ‘female Manager’),
- avoiding the use of ‘he’ or ‘she’ (use ‘their’ instead of ‘his’ or ‘her’).Breaches of this Policy and ProcedureAll breaches of this policy and procedure will be taken seriously. Employees who feel they are the subject of discrimination or harassment should:
- approach the Area Manager to discuss appropriate actions or options, or
- lodge a formal complaint or grievance which will be dealt with by the Human Resources Manager in accordance with Aquamarine Personalised Home Care Disputes andGrievances Policy and Procedure.Complaints will be dealt with promptly and in accordance with relevant State and Federal legislation and Aquamarine Personalised Home Care’s Incident Management Policies and Procedures. Investigation of potential breaches of this policy and procedure will be undertaken discreetly, and all complaints will remain confidential.
Documents relevant to this policy:
- Human Resources Policy and Procedure
- Disputes and Grievances Policy and Procedure
- Workplace Incident Management Policy and Procedure
- Client Incident Management Policy and Procedure
- Employee Code of Conduct
Monitoring and Review
This policy and procedure will be reviewed at least every two years by the Management Team. Reviews will incorporate employee, client and other stakeholder feedback.Aquamarine Personalised Home Care’s Continuous Improvement Plan will be used to record identified improvements and monitor the progress of their implementation. Where relevant, this information will be considered as part of Aquamarine Personalised Home Care’s service planning and delivery processes.
Aquamarine Personalised Home Care
NDIS Policy and Procedure Manual 01.08.2021